Golden Age Weaponsmiths F-16 Fighting Falcon:

Originally produced by General Dynamics, the F-16 Fighting Falcon was built in large numbers, more than any other contemporary Western produced fighter. One of the first fly-by-wire designs, they were extremely maneuverable and capable. Around forty five hundred of these single engine fighters were built. They were popular around the world, sold to over two dozen nations. In the United States, as the Joint Strike Fighter entered service, these older fighters found their way into reserve squadrons. Many were not retired until the revolution in super strong material.

Many of these old fighters remained forgotten in Air National Guard Armories alongside A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft. A few even ended up in the hands of private individuals. Adventurers and explorers found some of these aircraft and sold them to Golden Age Weaponmiths. Golden Age Weaponsmith's own teams found some of these single engine fighters as well. They were one of the first aircraft which were reconditioned by Golden Age Weaponsmiths. They are extremely popular because they are quite capable, in some ways the equal of the Iron Eagle fighters produced by Iron Heart Armament, and are a fraction of the cost of a newer fighter. As a result, the company has been unable to keep up with demands especially since the Coalition States took over Iron Heart Armament.

Golden Age Weaponmiths is strongly considering copying the design for the F-16 Falcon for a true production fighter. Its relatively simplicity makes it a relatively easy design to reproduce. Other designs being considered include the F/A-18 Hornet, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and the A-10 Thunderbolt. A few engineers have suggested copying the F-16 and F-15E because they share the same engines and might considered the "Big Brother" to the F-16. Each aircraft design has advantages and disadvantages to consider.

There has been a fair amount of debate about the performance between the F-16 Falcon and F/A-18 Hornet. The F-16 is slightly faster, able to just reach mach two, but their maneuverability is similar. One advantage of the F-16 over the F/A-18 is that it has a single engine which makes it potentially less expensive to build although on the flip side, the twin engines of the F/A-18 makes many consider it safer.

The refit / rebuilding of the F-16 Falcon by Golden Age Weaponsmiths is in many ways the pattern for later reconstructions of fighters. The frame is reenforced and virtually the entire skin is replaced by high strength composites and alloys. The ability to inflict damage of weapons compared to when the fighters were built has multiplied many fold. Even though reconstructed, the fighter is far weaker than it would be if completely built from high strength composites and alloys.

The APG-68 radar is far better than the APG-66 carried earlier on the F-16. It has a range of around 160 nautical miles and can track multiple targets. While not as capable as more modern radar systems, it is considered adequate for most purposes. The systems have been reconditioned with new components used in some cases. Such components, while usually off the shell systems, are often far smaller. Some systems which were originally externally mounted have been replaced by internal systems.

The F-16 can be found with either the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW or General Electric F110-GE. It is designed with a universal mount that can take either engine. The engine can be quickly changed out. Like the electronic suite, these engines have needed complete rebuilding. The company’s engineers are quite adept at rebuilding jet engines generally as a result of rebuilding so many engines.

In the wing root of the fighter is a 20 mm Mk-61A1 Vulcan cannon with 511 rounds of ammunition. The same cannon is carried on most United States fighters developed in the latter prat of the Twentieth Century. The standard ammunition is replaced by Wellington Industries manufactured ramjet ammunition. Using this ammunition, the Vulcan cannon inflicts similar damage to the rail guns carried on most more modern fighters.

No companies still produce the missiles and bombs which the fighter was designed to originally carry. As a result, the fighter’s hard points are modified to be able to carry modern missiles types. The fighter has a total of nine hard points which can carry a variety of different weapon systems. A variety of different ordnance can be carried including missiles, bombs, rocket pods, towed decoys, jamming pods, and even a heavy 30 mm gun pod. The 30 mm gun is similar to the gun carried on the A-10 Thunderbolt although with a much lower payload. Like the main 20 mm gun, the 30 mm cannon fires ramjet ammunition for much greater damage.

Three of the hard points are “Wet” with one on each wing and one centerline. Standard is three hundred gallon tanks but the wing hard points can also carry six hundred gallon for longer ferry ranges. These heavy tanks do restrict the fighter’s manoeuverability however.

Model Number: F-16C and F-16D
Vehicle Type: Single Engine Fighter-Bomber
Crew: F-16C; One F-16D; Two

M.D.C. by Location:

[1] Wings (2):70 each
Elevators (2):35 each
Rudder:35 each
[2] Engine (1):90
Landing Gear (3):5 each
[3] Main Body:130

[1] Destroying a wing will cause the plane to crash
[2] Destruction of the fighter’s engine will cause the aircraft to crash. Pilot may attempt an emergency landing or pilot can choose to eject.
[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body will shut the aircraft down completely, rendering it useless and causing it to crash if in flight.

Driving on Ground (Taxiing): Only possible for take offs and landings as well as for parking and storage. Speed is 40 mph (64 kph) when traveling and not on take off or landing.
Flying: The Falcon can reach a top speed of Mach 2.0 (1,287.7 knots / 1,539 mph/2,476.8 kph) on full afterburner (the fighter can only last a few minutes at that speed and consumes most of the fuel.) Top speed is reduced by about 10% when fully loaded. The fighters normal cruise is about 400 knots (460.6 mph / 741.3 kph) but varies on situation. The fighter has a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 meters)
Range: 1,100 nautical miles (1,265.9 miles/2,037.2 km) with no external ordnance load. The fighter can carry up to three fuel tanks (center and inner wing hard points) that extend range by about 195 nautical miles (225 miles/362.1 kilometers) each. Each tank is three hundred gallons. As well, there are available six hundred gallon "ferry" tanks which can be carried on the inner wing hard points. These extend range by 390 nautical miles (450 miles / 724.2) each but aircraft has a -2 penalty to dodge when carried. Reduce aircrafts range by 15% if partially loaded (two long range missiles, four medium range missile or eight short range missiles, or more) and by 25% if fully loaded. The Falcon can be refueled in the air.

Statistical Data:
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
Weight: 15,586 pounds (7,070 kilograms) empty, 23,810 pounds (10,800 kilograms) lightly loaded, and 35,400 pounds (16,057 kilograms)
Power System: Conventional, One Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200/220 (23,770 / 23,830 lbs thrust) or General Electric F110-GE-100/129 (27,600 / 31,600 lbs thrust) turbofan engine with afterburner, uses aviation fuel
Cargo: Minimal (Storage for small equipment) in cockpit, does not include hard points.
Black Market Cost: 3.1 million credits (Can sometimes sell for double that price)

Weapon Systems:

  1. One (1) M61A1 20 mm Vulcan Cannon: This is the original Pre-Rifts cannon mounted in the side of the fighter. It is also the same cannon design as is carried on the F-14 Tomcat, F-15 Eagle, and the F/A-18. They have replaced the standard ammo with mega damage, armor piercing ramjet ammunition produced by Wellington Industries which allows the aircraft to hold it own against other Rifts aircraft. The gun mount is controlled by the fighter’s pilot in both the single seat and two seat variants.
    Maximum Effective Range: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters).
    Mega Damage: 1D6x10 for a burst of 30 round, 2D4 for each round.
    Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
    Payload: 510 rounds (17 bursts)
  2. Hard Points (9): The F-16 has nine hard points for ordnance (The aircraft had two additional hard points but those are for electro-optical, infra-red, and terrain following pods which have been replaced by new internal equipment). Below is a list of hard points and the loads that they can carry. Missiles, rocket packs, and bombs can be mixed or matched but all ordnance on a hard point must be the same type.
    Central Hard Point: Fuel tanks, towed decoy, ECM pod, gun pod, or bombs (one heavy, two medium, or four light.)
    Inner Wing Hard Points: Fuel tanks, towed decoy, rocket packs, or missiles/bombs (one long range /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light.)
    Middle Wing Hard Points: ECM pod, towed decoy, rocket packs, or missiles/bombs (one long range missile /heavy, two medium range/medium, or four short range/light each.)
    Outer Wing Hard Points: Towed decoy or missiles only (one medium range missile or two short range missiles each.)
    Wing Tip Hard Points: Towed decoy or missiles only (one medium range missile or two short range missiles each.)
    1. GPU-5/A 30 mm Gun Pod: Can only be mounted centerline. Gun Pod mounts the 30 mm GAU-13/A Gatling Gun which a smaller four barrel version of the gun carried on the A-10 Thunderbolt attack aircraft. Instead of firing conventional ammunition, the gun pod carries armor piercing ramjet ammunition manufactured by Wellington Industries. The 30 mm cannon inflicts incredible damage although payload is limited. Like the 20 mm Vulcan cannon, the gun pod is controlled by the fighters pilot in both the single seat and two seat variants.
      Maximum Effective Range: 6,000 feet (1,830 meters).
      Mega Damage: 2D6x10 for a short burst of 20 round, 4D6x10 for a long burst of 40 rounds, and 3D6 for each round. Both bursts count as one attack.
      Rate of Fire: Equal to the combined hand to hand attacks of the pilot (usually 4 or 5).
      Payload: 340 rounds (17 short bursts / 8 long burst)
    2. Bombs and Missiles: The only restriction is that a hard point must carry all the same type of missiles or bombs. Both unguided and guided bombs can be carried. In two pilot versions, missiles are controlled by either the pilot or the weapons officer.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies by missile type for missile and varies by altitude bombs are dropped at (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega Damage: Varies by missile or bomb type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Missiles can be fired and bombs can be dropped one at a time per hard point. Multiple hard points can be linked as one attack but must be the same size (light, medium, or heavy) and style of ordnance (all missiles or bombs in a volley.)
      Payload: Varies by hard point (see above - all ordnance on a hard point must be the same size and type of ordnance)
    3. Mini-Missile Pod: Large capacity mini-missile pod. The mini missile pods are normally carried for ground strafing, anti-troop, and anti-emplacement attacks. Normal missile used are armor piercing, plasma, or fragmentation mini-missiles. In two pilot versions, mini missile pods are controlled by the pilot.
      Maximum Effective Range: Varies with missile types, mini-missiles only (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Mega-Damage: Varies with mini-missile types (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)
      Rate of Fire: Each pod can fire missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), eight (8), or sixteen (16 - all.) and can be linked with other mini missile pods for greater number of missiles (Counts as one attack no matter how many missiles in volley.)
      Payload: Each pod carries sixteen (16) mini-missiles.
    4. Active Jamming Pod: The pod takes place of all ordnance on the fighter’s hard point. Causes -25% to detection but when it is active, other vehicles/ bases can detect that it is jamming, and some missiles will home in on jamming signals. Jamming also causes a -4 penalty to all radar guided weapons.
    5. Towed Decoys (4): The pod takes place of all ordnance on the hard point. The aircraft can carry a special pod that carries four advanced towed decoy drones. These drones are dragged about 328 feet (100 meters) behind the aircraft on a thin cable. Each is a specially designed radar lure that creates a radar image to mimic the aircraft. If decoys are not destroyed, they can be recovered and repaired. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World weapons due to technological difference.
      M.D.C.: 5 each
      Effects: The decoy has an 65% chance of fooling ordinary non military radars and non smart guided missiles, the decoy has a 35% chance of fooling military level radars (like those of the Coalition), and the decoy has a 10% chance of fooling advanced military radars (Like those of the New Navy and Triax) and smart missiles.
      Range: Not Applicable although the decoy is deployed 328 feet (100 meters) from the aircraft
      Rate of Fire: One can be deployed at a time and requires 15 seconds to deploy (Reel Out) another decoy
      Payload: Four (4) decoys each pod.
  3. One (1) Anti-Missile Chaff/Flare Dispenser: Use the same effects as the TRIAX model. However, each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares. Rifts Earth decoy systems are assumed to not operate against Phase World missiles due to technological difference. Reduce effects by 20% against smart missiles (Add +20% to rolls for smart missiles.)
      01-50 Enemy missile or missile volley detonates in chaff cloud - Missiles are all destroyed.
      51-75 Enemy missile or missile volley loses track of real target and veers away in wrong direction (May lock onto another target.)
      76-00 No effect, enemy missile or missile volley is still on target.
    Also note that the chaff cloud will also blind flying monsters that fly through cloud. They will suffer the following penalties: reduce melee attacks/actions, combat bonuses, and speed by half. Duration: 1D4 melee rounds.
    Payload: 20 chaff, 40 flares. Each time the system is engaged, the system fires off one chaff and 1D4 flares.

Special Equipment:
The equipment of the fighter has been upgraded but many of the original systems are still on the fighter. Consider the fighter to carry all standard equipment that robot vehicles carry (not including loudspeaker and microphone) plus the following extra systems:

Combat Bonuses:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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